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Avelo Airlines to add flights between Rochester and Raleigh-Durham

Adam Bello standing at a podium, purple ballons and a poster for Avelo airlines behind him
Daniel J. Kushner
/
WXXI News
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announces during a news conference on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, that a new low-cost U.S. carrier, Avelo Airlines, is coming to the Fredrick Douglass-Greater Rochester International Airport.

Rochester’s airport has a new airline carrier.

Starting in June, low-cost carrier Avelo will provide direct flights between the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

Rochester will be the second city in New York state, after Binghamton, to provide trips from the Houston-based airline. Flights are scheduled for Mondays and Fridays, with initial one-way fares as low as $39.

Avelo’s fleet of Boeing 737 planes have been used in more than 15,000 flights since the company started operating in April 2021, said Bud Hafer, the company’s director of airport relations.

“Avelo was founded with a simple premise — to inspire travel,” Hafer said Wednesday during a news conference at the Rochester airport. “So these convenient low-cost travel options, bring it here to Rochester, are just part of a larger plan to be able to bring people more conveniently to destinations they want to go.”

Hafer said Rochester’s reputation as a thriving community in the wake of the pandemic was a major factor in Avelo’s decision to add flights to and from the area.

“It's coming back stronger than a lot of other communities, and seeing that connection between Raleigh and Rochester is what really drew us here,” he said.

The cities of Raleigh and Durham are part of what’s known as North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The area is home to Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Another key factor in the airline’s decision was the recent increase in air travelers coming through Rochester’s airport. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said more than 1 million travelers took departing flights in 2022 — the largest number of passengers since 2019.

Bello, who was on hand for the news conference, said the company’s arrival was proof that Rochester is a desirable location for economic growth.

“Avelo’s business model of investing in hometown airports like Rochester really fits perfectly here,” Bello said.

Avelo is scheduled to begin service at the Rochester airport on June 14.

Arts writer Daniel J. Kushner began writing for CITY in 2015 as a contributing writer before joining the staff full-time in 2018.